Over 1,100 Indian Peacekeepers Have Been Awarded UN Medals For Their Outstanding Services In South Sudan

The difficult responsibilities of defending civilians, carrying out a variety of engineering assignments, and providing health services are just a few of the skills of 1,160 Indian peacekeepers who were recently awarded UN medals for their outstanding service in South Sudan.

Indian peacekeepers are now serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), where they are providing outstanding service in the conflict-torn East African country.

Major Pooja Nair, a doctor and one of just two women in the present Indian force, stated, “It is an honour to earn this medal, which will adorn my uniform for the rest of my career.”

“Not only do we provide medical assistance to peacekeepers and the local community, but we also share our expertise of disease prevention and gender-based violence,” he added.

Outstanding and multifaceted work by Indian peacekeepers

Rehabilitating major roads in the region, notably the 75-kilometer-long route from Malakal to Abwong via Balliet in South Sudan, is part of Indian engineering personnel’ varied operation.

Many peacekeepers’ major responsibilities include safeguarding civilians who are physically threatened by patrolling high-risk areas and escorting humanitarian convoys that deliver aid to those in need. Indian peacekeepers guarantee that much-needed aid reaches local residents in a safe manner in this way.

The contingent is also recognized for holding regular mobile veterinary clinics around Upper Nile State. Thousands of cows, goats, donkeys, lambs, and other animals, even the occasional dog, have benefited from valuable veterinary treatments that are rarely offered to cattle owners across the country. In just two days, veterinarians treated over 1,749 animals in the country’s Renk town.

India’s tryst with global peacekeeping ops

India has a long and storied history of participating in UN peacekeeping operations. Since 1948, nearly 200,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN peacekeeping missions that have been formed around the world.

India has also been a consistent contributor of female peacekeepers to UN missions. Before being deployed to the Republic of Congo in 1960, women personnel in the Indian Armed Forces Medical Services were interviewed by UN Radio.

India was the first country to send an all-female troop to a UN peacekeeping deployment in 2007. In Liberia, the Formed Police Unit provided 24-hour guard duty and night patrols in the capital Monrovia, as well as assisting in the development of the Liberian police force.

Importantly, from 2007 to 2016, there were nine rotations of all-female police units from India, whose main responsibilities included providing 24-hour guard duty, public order management, and night patrols in and around Monrovia, as well as assisting in the development of local security institutions.

India has also aided the UN operation by sending doctors to treat the local population in missions all over the world, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Veterinarians are occasionally sent as part of the peacekeeping effort.

More than 6,700 Indian troops and police are now serving in UN peacekeeping missions, the most majority of which are in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Indian Army’s contribution in UN peacekeeping ops

In February this year, the Indian Army despatched an infantry battalion to the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in the oil-rich Abyei region of Africa, which lies between northern and southern Sudan, to continue its mission of providing assistance to friendly nations in times of need. The UNISFA is in charge of ensuring the safety of civilians and humanitarian aid workers in the region.

The Indian Army’s 570-strong infantry battalion was deployed as part of the peacekeeping mission, with the mission of providing humanitarian aid and monitoring the critical border between Sudan and South Sudan.

Indian Army: World’s 3rd largest contributor in peacekeeping operations

The Indian Army now has about 5,300 personnel deployed in eight different UN missions throughout the world. The Indian Army is the third-largest personnel contributor to UN peacekeeping operations in the world.

The decision to send another army unit comes amid India’s two-year stint as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which began in January 2021. For the eighth time, India has been elected to the UN Security Council’s illustrious 15-member body.

Army’s deep roots in global peacekeeping ops

The Indian Army has been involved in UN peacekeeping operations for 57 years, in 43 distinct UN missions. Over 90,000 Indian Army soldiers have served in various regions of the world as part of these critical tasks.

The Indian Army has contributed excellent force commanders, elite military contingents, unbiased observers, and devoted staff officers to UN peacekeeping efforts.

India has often contributed to the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts, not for any strategic gain, but in the service of an ideal.

Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Lebanon, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Congo, Sudan, and the Golan Heights are among the nations where India’s peacekeeping battalion has been stationed. In addition, observers and employees have contributed to international peace efforts in Central America, Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Congo, Ethiopia-Eritrea, Sudan, and the Golan Heights.

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